Better Dialogue Necessary to Improve Access to Medical DevicesBy Jan Hogewoning | Mon, 04/20/2020 - 17:02
Q: How does AMID contribute to the growth opportunities in the medical devices industry in Mexico?
A: The association was created 11 years ago to tackle the regulatory challenges in Mexico. A significant moment was when Article 3.76 of Mexico’s Health Law was amended to require all medical devices to submit for verification or approval every five years. Our association groups over 8,000 entities with specific sanitary requirements, which is quite a burden for sanitary authorities. The association was founded to create a dialogue with the authorities to improve cooperation in this area. Now, we also work on organizing consolidated purchases for medical devices.
Q: What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for the sector in the near term?
A: The primary challenge for medical devices in Mexico is that domestic consumption is much lower in comparison to other medical goods, such as medications. Low consumption means not every patient has access to advanced technologies. Mexico is the main exporter of medical devices in Latin American and eighth worldwide. However, in domestic consumption we rank between 43rd and 48th place. This means there is a big gap between the fast development of the medical devices industry in the country and actual access for the general population. Since 2016, our agenda has focused on three main goals: reaching the highest international standards for medical devices, working with decision-makers in the industry to adopt the latest technology and collaborating with authorities to help them with tenders for purchases of medical devices.
Q: What is needed to increase safety in medical equipment?
A: The first step is to improve cooperation between private companies to increase access to medical devices. AMID wants to accomplish this by working with other associations and entities to create a united front. We support the General Health Council’s efforts to improve dialogue. More information exchange with decision-makers in the public sector is also necessary to understand the needs of authorities and the sector. We are doing similar work with the Ministry of Finance, pushing to create a differentiation between medication and medical devices in regulation. This differentiation may sound simple, but it is necessary to ensure that mechanisms and protocols for storage, distribution and commercialization are adjusted specifically for medical devices.
Q: How can the medical devices industry contribute to the government’s austerity measures?
A: We applaud the government’s austerity efforts and actions to combat corruption. At the same time, we believe Mexico has major challenges regarding chronic-degenerative diseases and disease transmission. However, we believe austerity does not have to be a barrier to achieving the required quality standards in products. Investment in medical technology could result in better attention to patients, better results in public health and a lower sanitary risk. We want to be allies to the government to help them ease device purchases and to make the right choice of innovative products to ensure the well-being of the population.
Q: What actions and strategies does AMID implement to promote innovation?
A: Since 2016, we have been running an education campaign to promote the benefits of medical devices for people’s health. Equally, we aim to generate dialogue between industry decision-makers and health professionals who treat the Mexican population. Cooperation is a very important theme and we help strengthen it with a rigorous code of conduct based on international standards. This ensures that clients use technology that satisfies their needs and that end results lead to the maximum benefit for all.
Q: What are AMID’s three main goals for the next two years?
A: Our primary goal is to accompany the government in its efforts to fight corruption and we are fully available to collaborate in this area. This year, we are preparing a training course for more than 300 distributors and intermediaries who are members of the association. We want to orient them in AMID’s new ethics code, which is based on fighting corruption.
The Mexican Association of Innovative Medical Devices Industries (AMID) gathers global leaders in innovation of medical devices and diagnostic systems to work toward the advancement of health services in Mexico.